Segunda Caida

Phil Schneider, Eric Ritz, Matt D and occasional guests write about pro wrestling. Follow us @segundacaida

Monday, February 05, 2018

Lucha Underground Season 3 Episode 29: The Hunger Inside

ER: I have to wonder if Cueto feeding Matanza a big plate of raw meat is an inside joke. When we were just starting Phoenix Pro Wrestling, my pal Josh (PPW owner/booker) drove down to meet up with JR Kratos and Jeff Cobb to film some things, and go over plans for the first few shows. And he said at one point that day the two of them ate this huge bowl of raw looking meat, while chatting, just getting that protein.

TL: So last episode, I was either uninterested (three matches with three indy standoffs to start off will do it to you) or Eric made all the good points already so I’m gonna jump right in and be all about this week’s episode. I hope. Matanza wanting raw meat that bad just makes me want sashimi, and also makes me want to go back to Japan. Hey! Jeff was in Japan in December! He ate steak! I don’t know if it was raw, but he ate steak! Gonna say with 100% confidence that this scene was the thing that got him to Japan. Deductive reasoning at its finest, baby.

1. Pindar vs. Fenix

ER: This delivered just about what I wanted, with Pindar dropping a bunch of big slams and powerbomb variations, hard elbow shots to the jaw and back of the head, and Fenix almost killing himself. My favorite part of the match was actually Kobra Moon choking Fenix in the corner while the ref was distracted. She really got that arm wrapped around his neck and sunk it in from a position of leverage. That choke is pro wrestling right there. Pindar threw some nice knuckle punches at Fenix's dome. Pindar still looks like Dirk Benedict at the end of Sssssss, and to my surprise we don't get a dozen shots of Melissa concerned for Fenix (just one!). Luckily, Pindar is base-y as hell because Fenix could have died doing that Spanish fly off the top. Finish is awesome with Fenix just jumping both knees first right into Pindar's guy, the way I used to jump off the back of the couch onto my poor father.

TL: Pindar as a base for Fenix’s shenanigans makes me giddy coming in. I have absolutely no idea what Vampiro’s talking about with Fenix’s black and white attire. Pindar with a fantastic quebradora that Fenix bumped crazy for. In fact, that’s just the beginning of an AWESOME run of Pindar offense. The spinning wheel kick in the corner is one of my favorite moves I’ve seen in a long time and was very Jerry Flynnesque. The monkey flip with Fenix doing the AJ Styles “wait until the last possible second to tuck and roll” bump was insane. Even Pindar’s crazy-ass Royal Butterfly slam just looked cool. Then Fenix one-ups him with his ridiculous springboard sole butt to the face, which basically always looks good. That Spanish Fly was definitely problematic, but Pindar snapping off for the bump was masterful. I really hope we get to see more of him this season. Great start, even with Fenix off his game.

TL: Jack Evans with a wired jaw is high comedy to me considering his body is basically made out of rubber. Still a better promo not being able to talk right than PJ.

2. Dante Fox vs. Prince Puma

ER: I'm so tired of writing up matches like these. I don't know what to say anymore. Big moves were hit, usually really well! Strikes were exchanged, dives were done; some of the moves looked really painful, but they probably weren't because neither guy seemed to have much trouble taking a move and then doing a move. Sometimes moves didn't hurt, and other times just doing a move might make you lie on the mat and breathe hard. At one point I actually forgot who was who, as it didn't really matter in terms of following along with the action. You knew cool things were going to happen, and after about 10 minutes of cool things then one of the guys would be pinned. Both men may as well have been wearing Green Man jumpsuits, as it really didn't matter who was doing what. This was the sexiest of the sexy dance fighting. Do you remember years and years ago, when (I think) Eric Bischoff suggested making pro wrestling an Olympic sport, with judges and points systems? A lot of us within our circle laughed it off and knew it would just be cooperative gymnastics specifically appealing to judges instead of crafting something interesting. Well, this - and a lot of popular current wrestling style - is cooperative gymnastics specifically appealing to judges. This is wrestling seeking star ratings and chants, all that's missing at this point is breathing heavily while holding your pose at the end of your Bolero routine. These two should enter some kind of swing dancing competitions or something. There's a whole touring circuit out there that's missing them.

TL: So this has all the makings of all of the crazy athleticism of Ricochet/Ospreay, matches that I actively disliked due to the choreography. Also, Striker calling Puma/PJ Black a five-star matchup is such pandering bullshit it makes me take him less serious than ever. And yeah, this match doesn’t start off the way I’d like it to, as both guys do the dive tradeoff as the substitute for your normal indy standoff; selling not even optional, more like non-existent. Something finally happens when Puma catches the Fox moonsault, only for it to be a DDT that looked sick enough that if it got no-sold, I would have just skipped the match entirely. Fox grabbing a chinlock after four minutes, with the way this match started, would make Kevin Owens laugh out loud. Randy Orton doesn’t even have the balls to do that. Then, when Puma goes right back on offense, it’s as if the Fox “control segment” didn’t even matter. And now they go into a damn rollup sequence and then a ludicrous kick-trading sequence. AND THEN THEY SELL FATIGUE TO TRADE ELBOWS. Good lord almighty. One of the reasons Dragon Lee/Kamaitachi at least worked was that they built up to stuff in a way and sold high impact stuff in a way that at least made sense. This was a cherry picked version of that match where selling only mattered to remember the next sequence. Striker also literally calls a brainbuster a “modified Jackhammer” in this match. I know Puma’s moving on. You know Puma’s moving on. I am moving on from this match because it’s just not even close to the type of wrestling I can enjoy. I’ll just say this: Ricochet going to NXT is going to 100% work out for my personal enjoyment of him because they’ll figure out the best way to tone him down and accentuate his strengths. At least until they sign Ospreay in a year or two.

TL: Oh, so NOW they figure out Cage killed a guy with the power glove. This is the worst police department of all time. I do think it’s hilarious they somehow got the TV feed from Cortez’s match as Veneno, as if they can access the shows at any time. I have a feeling they can get the Tom Magee/Bret Hart match.

3. Johnny Mundo vs. Dragon Azteca Jr.

ER: [I'm not sure what happened, as I wrote this up some time ago and when I went to post, I had nothing written for this match, no memory of what happened in it, no clue what happened to whatever I originally wrote]

TL: We get a close look at Ron Funches and the Mysterio family in the crowd, with Dominic looking big. Striker references them often in this one, so I figured I’d just get it out of the way now. This match coming in was something I’d be interested in if Dragon literally works this like Rey would against Mundo, but instead, he gets off to a good start with an enziguiri and then a springboard rana that Mundo rolls outside for with a ridiculous bump. I have no idea why Azteca would do a forward roll before trying a pescado rana, but Johnny’s sick spinebuster counter off it is another great Mundo transition spot. Mundo’s control sequence is fun with his sliding knee and his always good-looking springboard kick. Azteca works really well from underneath here, and when he is able to vault Mundo to the floor, he hits a truly insane somersault plancha over the ringpost, complete with awesome camera shot. I also love Dragon’s unique kick counters, as he slides towards the corner off a whip and then just catches a charging Mundo in the face. I also love a good Toyota Roll, and Dragon does a great one here. Azteca also busts out the prawn hold from the top rope, which always looks nasty. Of course, Mundo trips up Dragon on the top and finishes with The End of the World (this one more of a headbutt than a splash). This was your normal good Mundo match. Postmatch, Mundo tries to go too far with the chair around Dragon’s neck, only for Rey to save him and take him to the back…which leads to Mundo coming back out and getting in Dominic’s face, with Dominic actually saying, “You know who I am.” Then he eats a belt shot while Rey gets held back by Johnny’s posse. It’s a great heat-seeking move, to be honest, even if it was telegraphed and the Mysterio family did no favors with their acting. Feel like this was a way better build-up than any of the “true fight” stuff from the weeks before.

TL: Yeah, this had way more meat for me to dig into this week, even if the only match I truly got into was the opener. Next episode has the Mil Muertes/Jeremiah Crane match that has had a build and is supposedly quite good, so we’ll see how well that stacks up.


COMPLETE LUCHA UNDERGROUND EPISODE GUIDE



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